Psychologists at UEA for many years have been working within multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams dealing directly with research questions applied to solving practical health, environmental, or child and family problems.
Prior to the formation of the new School of Psychology in 2012, impact has been realised around three groupings of psychologists: 1) the Clinical Psychology Group (in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences), 2) the Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF, Faculty of Social Sciences), and 3) a cluster of Applied Psychologists embedded in disciplines across the university (groupings in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Science).
The research that has been conducted at UEA has benefited a wide range of ‘non-academic' groups and bodies, including:
• Government health services and public health agencies in the UK and abroad, including the National Health Service (NHS), Department of Health, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
• Health professionals who use clinical research evidence to improve clinical practice.
• Patients and the public who use public health, service evaluation and clinical research evidence to inform their health behaviour, choose services and influence policy.
• Government agencies and charities in the areas of family policy, climate change policy, and energy policy including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The main types of impact of the research are:
• Changing professional practice to comply with the best evidence available, with associated economic benefit (service change) and better patient outcomes.
• Changing the content of clinical practice guidelines and family policy guidelines to comply with the best available evidence.
• Changing government and health services policies (e.g. family policy, energy policy).
Examples of Psychology Impact - Clinical Psychology at UEA
Psychological interventions in the management and prevention of psychosis
Where historically medication was considered the only effective intervention to treat psychosis, research led by Professor David Fowler at UEA (1996-2013) has had significant impact on the use of talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the treatment and prevention of psychosis.
Fowler produced a highly influential therapy manual for CBT for psychosis (CBTp), outlining treatment strategies to engage patients and address areas such as social disability. He has also worked with Dr Joanne Hodgekins on pioneering research into Early Intervention in Psychosis, developing services and refining CBT practice for younger, first-episode patients.
The research has informed the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the treatment and management of schizophrenia and for psychosis in young people. Counties including the UK, US, Australia, Canada and Norway recommend the use of CBTp and Early Intervention in Psychosis based on the research completed at UEA.
Technology-mediated interventions for common mental health problems
Dr Lina Gega has led pioneering work in the development and take-up of computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT) to treat common mental health problems (2007-2013). cCBT helps to improve patient access to psychological therapies, reducing clinician time and cost and ultimately improving outcomes for patients.
Gega's research has facilitated the development of cCBT in the UK and internationally, the development of online and direct training for health professionals, and the development of policy for the treatment of common mental health disorders through cCBT. She developed a screening tool that has been used in FearFighter™ - a cCBT intervention recommended in NICE guidelines and broadly used in the UK and abroad. Her research has contributed to improved reach of CBT, and the specification of the conditions under which cCBT can be maximally effective.
The Social Sciences faculty at UEA has developed an Impact Enhancement Strategy aimed at supporting research activity across Schools, toward stimulating greater impact and making a practical difference beyond academia.